Eighth Grade takes us back to that tricky period, the transition from primary to high school. This time however, there’s a side order of social media, something I was lucky to miss out on.
The story focuses on 13 year old Kayla (Elsie Fisher), living out the final days of her eighth grade year. By day she’s an anxious, awkward, self-loathing, sullen teen, dwelling a lifetime away from the cool group.
By night she turns to YouTube to express herself. Her online reinvention is a self-assured confidante, dispatching advice on all things teen. The videos provide insight into her inner hopes and dreams, as does a poignant letter from her younger self.
In his feature film directorial debut, 27-year-old comedian Bo Burnham draws on his own experience of achieving fame through YouTube videos about his teenage insecurities.
The film and Fisher’s restrained performance quickly draws you in. As the credits rolled many audience members remained in their seats, no doubt remembering their own angst ridden childhoods. I defy any women not to feel Kayla’s pain, especially in the pool party scene where her one-piece falls way short of all her bikini peers. The fact that Burnhman shows this without any commentary makes it all the more powerful. This scene alone is worth the price of the movie.
Fisher is a delight and I am thrilled to see her work has been rewarded with a nomination.
Eighth Grade is this generations “Mean Girls”.
For more information go to Luna Cinema
Watch Eighth Grade Trailer
Audience Favourite award at Sundance London film festival.
Golden Globe Nomination: Elsie Fisher, Best Actress
Winner – 2 Gotham Awards (Breakthrough Director for Bo Burnham and Breakthrough Actor for Elsie Fisher)
Winner – 1 National Board of Review Award (Best Directorial Debut for Bo Burnham and selected as one of the Top 10 Films of 2018)
Nominated – 4 Independent Spirit Awards (Best Feature, Best Female Lead for Elsie Fisher, Best First Screenplay for Bo Burnham and Best Supporting Male for Josh Hamilton)